Blog

Getting Better at Getting Better

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As I paid visits to schools at the beginning of this year, a teacher sent a question through the principal, “ask her when we are going to be good enough”. I knew the question came from a place of frustration: more new standards, another change in assessments, new technology, and other national, state, and district demands. Yet, the question itself took me by surprise. I had thought the principle of continuous improvement was ingrained in who we are; that all staff understood this was one of our district’s core beliefs. Read more

What If Efficacy Did Not Matter in Schools?

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What if efficacy did not matter in schools or on the PLC journey? What if we focused exclusively on the knowledge and skill set of every individual on a team? In the sports world... Read more

Creating and Supporting High-Performing PLCs: One District’s Journey

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The state of Florida has 21 national model schools of PLCs at Work™ listed under the “PLC Locator” tab on the allthingsplc.info website. 20 of these 21 schools are located in one . . . Read more

Moving School Improvement Into the Classroom With SMART Goals

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School districts across the United States are faced with improving achievement for all students. The complexity of this issue has resulted in the expansion of organized walkthroughs taking place . . . Read more

A Powerful Tool for Student and Teacher Learning

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I remember early in my leadership constantly assessing where we were as a school and setting goals for where we needed to go as a school. With a clear vision in mind, we would chart incremental . . . Read more

Classroom Observation Drives Instructional Practices

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Moving instructional practices forward at a school site can be a daunting task. Ask any principal, team leader, or department chair how easy it is to motivate colleagues to row in the same . . . Read more

It’s Not Pixie Dust, It’s Protocol

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This article originally appeared in the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association bimonthly newsletter, TEPSA News, and is posted here with their permission. It’s Not Pixie . . . Read more

Driven by DIVAS (Data, Instruction, Varied Assessments, and Supports)

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How do educators focus on improving student achievement when demographics and performance challenges seem insurmountable? The teachers at Licking Heights High School recently addressed this . . . Read more

New Study Highlights Importance of Collaborative Inquiry

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A study from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), published last November, offers school perspectives on the benefits of New York City’s data-informed collaborative inquiry process. Since 2006, policymakers have been refining a citywide collaborative inquiry model in which… Read more

From the PLC Summit: DuFour’s New Assessment Resource

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Rick DuFour kicked off day two of the Summit here in Phoenix with the release of a new assessment resource called a Data Analysis Protocol (PDF). It’s a worksheet that teams can use to ensure . . . Read more

Collective Merit Pay: Supporting Collaboration Over Competition

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Kildeer Countryside Consolidated School District 96 was engaged in contract negotiations throughout the 2009–2010 school year. The economic climate coupled with increased accountability requirements contributed to a different landscape than in years past… Read more

What Do We Do When They Haven’t Learned?

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The implementation of a PLC is not a silver bullet, but a pathway to follow in working to ensure student learning. Implementation requires dedication and a focus on desired learning outcomes as teams work to answer the four key questions that guide a PLC... Read more

Eliminating Bias in Grading: Teachers Collaborate on Student Assessments

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The work of a professional learning community team is never done. Instead, teachers continuously navigate the world of standards, assessments, interventions, and extensions, using inquiry in an informed way to improve student learning. They begin a journey that becomes… Read more

How PLCs Use Assessments

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We received a series of questions from a school grappling with developing common assessments. I summarized the questions and attempted to provide a brief response for each… Read more

Three Rules Help Manage Assessment Data

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We live in the Information Age, when never before has so much data on student learning been so readily available. It is the best of times... And yet, to harried principals struggling to make sense of the mountains of assessment data, the Information Age may feel like the worst of times... Read more